DoN Brewer, Building an Art Brand Starting with a Typo

DoN Brewer, Building an Art Brand


Andy Warhol‘s real last name was WarholaBanksy is a made-up name, Lady GaGa is made up, there are one name stars like Cher, Madonna, Christo – the idea is to build a brand, be memorable and stand out in a crowd.  P!nk uses an exclamation point as does famous Philly artist Burnell Yow! to make their name stand out.  DoN is attending seminars at the Corzo Center for the Creative Economy at the University of the Arts, on a cold early Spring evening, CO-COO of ZEROTO5IVE, Michelle Pujadas, an expert in business branding, lectured at length about famous brands and their imagery.  DoN worked up the nerve to show her his business card in front of the room full of art entrepreneurs, the card with the big red DoN and crown which the branding guru then critiqued at length.  She liked the big N in DoN because it looks different and quirky, big & red always works, she liked the crown a lot, a memorable image that creates links in the viewers mind but thought the mouse drawn crown should be simplified, she did not like the swirly pink background at all (DoN tried to explain the tie-in to his website but if you have to explain…start over) and she particularly critiqued the hand feel of the card, what DoN thought was slick and shiny Michelle Pujadas felt was slimy!  Slimy!  Her card has a memorable logo and lush, velvety touch with room to write personal notes.  Ink doesn’t even adhere to DoN‘s old shiny/slimy cards.

DoN also learned that he was over-promising services on his business card; as a multimedia designer and artist it seemed important to list all of his skills including Flash, seo, video & reiki.  What DoN learned was that even though those activities are ones he enjoys doing, working with others on their ideas or problems isn’t always a satisfying experience.  DoN learned at the Corzo Center for the Creative Economy events to be able to express what he does as a business in the length of time it takes to ride an elevator.  So, with his new business card design, DoN highlights what he likes doing best – art, blogging, photography & web deign – if search engine optimization, Flash animation, producing video or healing pesky past life issues with reiki enters the conversation, cool.  If not, oh, well.

ZEROTO5IVE also recommended simplifying the color palette of the card, DoN eliminated the disco swirls and changed the font up a little, still his favorite Futura, a geometric sans-serif typeface designed in 1927 by Paul Renner, but now the D is a bit bigger, the o a bit smaller but the capital N remains capitalized, a favorite of the audience and the expert presenter, even people in the back row got it.  The crown in DoN‘s new logo is now the W from the free font called IntellectaCrowns from designed by Intellecta Design, a Brazilian type foundry interested in typographical research and revivals of all forms of ancient typefaces and handwriting styles.  It searches historical churches, museums and similar institutions to develop handwriting and other fonts from old documents. This kind of research is not common in Brazil. In addition, their design team also works to create new and modern typefaces for all applications.  DoN removed the Flash animation with the dizzying swirl and unexpected noises from his homepage, too.  DoN has people say to him all the time,”The Don with the big N, right”.  People also think DoN looks like Wille Nelson, but that’s another story.  A simple typo has turned into a moniker, logo and brand that folks remember, even if they think it’s a mistake.  The big N continued when DoN began writing this blog,  DoNArTNeWs DoNBrewerMultimedia Reviews the Philadelphia Region Art Scene, now with over 60k hits per month, thank you, and the typo has become a meme.

Now, DoN‘s card is still bold but simplified, the advice from the Corzo Center for the Creative Economy has helped DoN re-focus his energy and values on projects that re-invigorate, inspire and develop his brand – DoN with a capital N.  As a result of meeting entrepreneurs at the Corzo seminars DoN is now a Contributing Writer, providing exclusive content about the arts, to Philly.SideArts, an artist portfolio and arts opportunity website.  And it started with a typo.


DoN Brewer, Building an Art Brand

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